Thursday, October 12, 2006

Designing the Mobile User Experience

Designing mobile devices for the everyday environment ...

"About a decade ago, the World Wide Web was just taking off, and people spent a lot of time trying to determine just what it would be useful for—other than online chat rooms and personal Web pages. Though it took us a while to figure out how to use the power of the World Wide Web, the Web has since revolutionized communications and commerce in modern society.

Today, we’re trying to understand how mobile devices—and by extension the mobile Web—can fit into and even enhance our day-to-day lives. As we do so, we should endeavor to avoid the mistakes we made before we understood the opportunity inherent in the Web.

... Achieving simplicity and speed of access is the key to expanding people’s perceptions of the mobile Web to include information, entertainment, and commerce services. If people are to use these services while they are on the go, we must avoid cramming as many features as possible into them—just so we can claim to have the biggest and best service. Instead, we should focus on offering the features that actually help people accomplish their goals—especially when those goals are time sensitive. For example, if you’re not sure what exit to take off the interstate, you need an answer now—not five minutes from now.

What does this mean for interaction designers and information architects? If we are designing for user experience, we must understand the place the mobile phone holds in the ecosystem of our lives as well as the unique challenges and strengths of mobile devices, so we can design products that connect with people in meaningful ways. We can do this by following a user-centered design process to

- understand the contexts within which our customers use these devices
- select the technologies that best integrate into these contexts
- design systems that are as simple as possible"    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]

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